The Botanical Review

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 195–212 | Cite as

Fruit and Seed Dispersal of Salvia L. (Lamiaceae): A Review of the Evidence

  • Scott Zona


The seed dispersal mechanisms of Salvia species are reviewed, with particular attention to quantitative or experimental evidence of dispersal. Despite having rather uniform fruit morphology, Salvia has several dispersal mechanisms: dispersal of mericarps by water (hydrochory), wind (anemochory), animals (zoochory) or gravity (barochory). Cases of myrmecochory are highlighted, along with dispersal by the plant itself via springy or hygroscopic pedicels. Despite having no visible means of dispersal, many Salvia species disperse for short to medium distances. Many gaps in our knowledge of dispersal exist, despite the fact that knowledge of dispersal mechanisms is critical in evaluating invasive potential, conservation status, usefulness in habitat restoration, and geographic distribution.


Anemochory Hydrochory Lamiaceae Salvia Seed dispersal Zoochory 



I thank Dr. Jesús G. González-Gallegos for sharing his insights into the biology of Salvia species in Mexico. This is contribution 333 to the FIU Tropical Biology Series.

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© The New York Botanical Garden 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences & International Center for Tropical BotanyFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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